‘The EU has forgotten it needs borders’: French PM says Europe ‘could die very fast’ unless ‘destabilising’ flow of migrants is stopped

  • Manuel Valls said Europe cannot take all the migrants arriving each day
  • He said the EU project ‘can die, not in decades or years but very fast’ 
  • Europe’s outer borders need guards and passport controls, he said   
Message: Manuel Valls said that Europe cannot take the thousands of migrants arriving every day because 'our societies will be totally destabilised'.
Message: Manuel Valls said that Europe cannot take the thousands of migrants arriving every day because ‘our societies will be totally destabilised’.

Manuel Valls said that Europe cannot take the thousands of migrants arriving every day because ‘our societies will be totally destabilised’.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland he said that the EU’s outer borders must be better controlled and said the Schengen passport-free deal is in jeopardy.

‘If Europe is not capable of protecting its own borders, it’s the very idea of Europe that will be questioned.

‘The European project can die, not in decades or years but very fast, if we are unable to face up to the security challenge. That’s why we need border guards and passport controls’.

‘We cannot say, nor can we accept, that we can take all the refugees that are fleeing the terrible wars in Syria and Iraq, otherwise our societies will be destabilised. It’s a crisis that puts the European project at risk’.

More than one million migrants have arrived in Europe in the past year, and Mr Valls said the EU is ‘at grave risk’ as a result.

He also said it has been a mistake for countries like German to say: ‘Come, you will be welcome’, because the groups of migrants are so sophisticated.

He told the BBC: Today, when we speak in Europe, a few seconds later it is mainly on the smartphones in the refugee camps,’ Valls said.

This has ‘provoked major shifts in population’, he said.

 Europe’s border-free travel zone was nearing collapse last night as Germany announced it would keep the check points it reintroduced on its frontiers to stem the flow of migrants.

Interior minister Thomas de Maiziere said he could ‘not foresee a moment’ when the emergency measures put in place in September would be lifted.

Crisis: Migrants queue in the northern Greek village of Idomeni as they flow into Europe - but the French PM says they cannot all be welcomed

 Under the Schengen Agreement, 26 European countries had removed all border controls between each other, but this has unravelled as the migrant crisis has taken hold.


David Cameron has he is in ‘no hurry’ to hold an EU referendum before the end of 2017 without a ‘good deal’ on curbing migration.

Speaking to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Prime Minister tried to quash claims he was racing to hold an in/out vote this summer to avoid defeat.

The Prime Minister was believed to want to secure a quick renegotiation deal at the next EU Council meeting in mid-February and hold a referendum in June.

Britain wants a deal that will make it less attractive to migrants and will also have to fight to keep the power to deport asylum seekers to their country of arrival in the EU.

But yesterday he said: ‘If there’s a good deal on the table, I will take it. But if there isn’t the right deal, I’m not in a hurry. I can hold my referendum any time up until the end of 2017 and it is much more important to get this right than to rush it’.

Britain’s demands for change on the four issues of migration, sovereignty, competitiveness and protection for non-euro states were ‘not outrageous asks’, but offered ‘a huge prize’, he said.

Yesterday in Davos, Swedish prime minister Stefan Lofven and Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte warned that the EU had just weeks to find a solution to avoid its demise.

David Cameron said last night he feels ‘deeply European’ from the bottom of his heart, angering Brexit campaigners who claimed his comments proved he will campaign to stay in the EU ‘regardless’.

In an interview with French TV, the Prime Minister said Britain was a country with a ‘European destiny’ and that it was ‘important’ to stay in a European Union ‘that works for us’.

And he invoked Britain’s heroic struggle against Adolf Hitler to bolster his claim that the country should stay in a reformed Europe.

His comments angered campaigners lobbying for Britain to leave the EU who said they were proof that Mr Cameron was going to accept ‘any old deal’.

Lord Howard, former Tory leader and home secretary said: ‘I agree very much with what Valls has said. It’s true the EU is in great difficulties because its two greatest projects, the Euro and the Schengen, are in crisis.

‘Fortunately we are not members of either. They are the cornerstones of the argument of those that believe more Europe is the answer.

‘It is a more acute crisis for those who think the Schengen area is a wonderful thing but many of us have had doubts and it may need to be revisited.

‘The more (migrants) that come in to the EU, then more will come after, and that’s the lesson we have to learn.

‘I think what Valls called for was proper EU border control and if you had that you can turn people back and direct them to safe havens.’

He also said boats of migrants can be turned back.

He said: ‘Australia has a large coastline and has been very successful at dealing with this problem if you had the political will to do it you can take the necessary action.’

'No rush': David Cameron speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos yesterday, where he said he would not hurry through an EU referendum

 Warning: Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (left) gestures next to French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (right) during a session at the World Economic Forum at Davos today where he warned Schengen is on the brink of collapse

 The interview came as the Prime Minister’s hopes of holding his EU referendum in June suffered a blow when his fellow leaders said an agreement was still some way off.

The French prime minister said a deal on reforms to Britain’s relationship with Brussels was unlikely to be struck at a meeting of the bloc’s leaders next month.

In that case, the referendum vote could be put off until September – which would be after an expected upsurge in the number of migrants coming from the Middle East.

Mr Cameron is at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where yesterday he urged business leaders to campaign in favour of an In vote. Interviewed on French channel TF1, the Prime Minister was asked: ‘From the bottom of your heart, Mr Prime Minister, do you feel deeply European?’

Mr Cameron replied: ‘Of course. Britain is a European country, and I feel very much part of that.


Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at their meeting in Berlin today

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at their meeting in Berlin today

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will today press Turkey to help stem the flow of migrants to Europe – and could increase an offer of 3billion euros in return.

Germany and Turkey have emerged as key players in the biggest migration crisis to rock Europe since World War II, and both Merkel and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will meet today.

Despite wintry conditions, thousands of people fleeing war and misery are still embarking on the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean to seek a better life in Europe.

Another two boats carrying dozens of migrants sank, killing 21 people, Greece’s coastguard said Friday.

EU member states have been split about how to resolve the crisis, with Austria the latest to draw fire when it decided to impose a limit on its asylum seeker intake.

Mrs Merkel has so far faced down demands for a quota, after nearly 1.1 million asylum seekers arrived in Germany in 2015.

She will ask MR Davutoglu to honour a deal with the EU to reduce the number of migrants coming through, as between 2,000 and 3,000 people are still arriving daily in Greece from Turkey despite the November 29 accord.

But the EU hasn’t delivered on the deal either, with member states still squabbling over the financing for aid towards the 2.2 million Syrian refugees that Turkey is hosting.

Davutoglu Thursday said he would not even ask about the three billion euros ($3.2 billion) promised by the EU but will demand concrete action instead.

‘We are not asking (for) money, we are not negotiating (for) money… For us, it’s a humanitarian duty, therefore the problem is not financial assistance,’ Davutoglu told the Davos summit of business and political elites.

‘We hope the next steps will be concrete steps to address this issue,’ he said on the eve of the Berlin talks.

But Die Welt newspaper said ‘it is possible that Germany would promise additional bilateral funds’.

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